9 Seemingly Innocent Habits That Are Actually Bad For You

When it comes to bad habits, most of us know to not to smoke or drink too much and to avoid junk food and soda for every meal. However, there are number of seemingly innocent habits that actually can have some pretty negative health effects, and many of us do these habits without realizing their impact. Knowing what these habits are can help us implement changes in our life that improve both our health and our wellbeing.

"Sometimes our daily habits are so ingrained, that we don't consider how they could be affecting our health or appearance," says Dr. Anthony Youn, author of The Age Fix: How To Look Ten Years Younger, over email. A study from Aetna found that most Americans believe they are healthier than they actually are, so it might be time to take a good, hard look at how we actually treat ourselves and our bodies. Knowing the reality of how what we do daily affects your health can make all the difference in improving our mental and physical states.

If you're trying harder to be healthier, the first place you want to look is at your everyday activities. Despite what you may think, these 11 seemingly harmless habits are actually quite detrimental to your overall health.

1. Wearing Tight Pants

Whether you're a fan of super skinny jeans or like to wear your belt really tight, you might want to reconsider your choice of clothing. As cute as they are, pants that are too tight can put pressure onto the abdomen, causing issues such as acid reflux, according to Everyday Health. Avoid wearing tight pants if you're going to a big dinner if you want to avoid digestive issues or heart burn.

2. Crossing Your Legs

Crossing your legs while sitting may seem like the natural thing to do, but sitting with your knees crossed can actually raise your blood pressure, according to a study published in Blood Pressure Monitoring. Crossing your legs at your ankles, however, will not cause a spike in your blood pressure.

3. Sitting At Your Computer All Day

It's not uncommon for most people to spend a majority of their days sitting at the computer, but doing so can shave years off of your life. A study from the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that sitting all day increases your chances of getting a disease that can kill you prematurely — even if you exercise. Try working standing up, or take the time to get up frequently and take a walk to the bathroom or to get a drink of water.

4. Seeing The Glass As Half Empty

You may think there's nothing wrong with being pessimistic, but unfortunately, looking at the negative side of life can have some serious health effects. Pessimism can not only make you more sick, but it can hurt your heart, but it can hurt your heart health and shorten your lifespan, according to multiple studies.

5. Sleeping On Your Face

Sleeping on your face can lead to wrinkles, says Youn. "Instead, try to sleep on your side or your back," he says. "If you must sleep on your face, then use a silk or satin pillowcase to limit the creasing and wrinkling."

6. Telling White Lies

Sure, it seems easier to fib a bit in certain situations, but this habit can generate stress that can harm your health. A study from the University of Notre Dame found that when people told less lies, they experienced fewer mental-health complaints, such as feeling tense or melancholy as well as fewer physical symptoms as well.

7. Talking On Your Cell Phone

"Talking on your phone without cleaning the phone periodically can increase the risk of acne of your chin," says Youn. "You can rub bacteria from your chin onto the phone and transfer the bacteria onto your skin when you use the phone. This can increase the risk of chin breakouts."

8. Eating At Your Desk

Eating your lunch at your desk might be a good way to multitask, but it's also a surefire way to ingest some unwanted germs. A study from the University of Arizona found that your work desk contains over 400 times more germs than an average toilet seat — and no one would even consider eating their sandwich in a bathroom stall.

9. Taking Receipts

It's always a good idea to keep up on your finances, but if you are dealing with receipts a lot, you might be constantly exposed to BPA, a chemical that has found to be an endocrine disruptor. Choose electronic receipts, if possible, and try to limit the amount of time receipts spend in your hand.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a habit is healthy or not, but sticking to staying active, using natural products, and staying clean can help encourage positive health.

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